Crooks' Best Friend on High Court Is ... Antonin Scalia?
Justice has overturned convictions on the right to challenge witnesses
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Nov 27, 2011 8:08 AM CST
Antonin Scalia addresses the Chicago-Kent College Law justice Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011, in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

(Newser) – You might not think of arch-conservative Antonin Scalia as a crusader for convicts, but that’s exactly what the Supreme Court justice has become, leading a pro-defendant coalition based on his strict interpretation of the Constitution, the LA Times observes. Prosecutors are especially worried about his take on the 6th Amendment, which gives defendants the right to confront witnesses against them. Scalia has interpreted the right broadly, for instance, once overturning a murder conviction because police testified that the victim had reported threats against her. Scalia said the defendant had the right to challenge his (dead) accuser.

The justice has assembled some unlikely coalitions on such cases; in one instance, he teamed with Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. “This is not a left-right split,” explains one law professor. “This is principle versus pragmatism.” Next month the principle will be on trial again; a defendant is arguing that prosecutors violated his rights because a technician who ran the DNA test identifying him never took the stand.

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Showing 3 of 15 comments
Nov 27, 2011 12:45 PM CST
Scalia is a twisted, diabolical tyrant. The sooner he "retires" the better for us all.
Nov 27, 2011 11:45 AM CST
Let's get this clear: Roberts, Alito, Scalia and Thomas are American traitors who are the real culprits in legislating from the bench. When the people take over, they're gone!
Nov 27, 2011 10:34 AM CST
We could get a computer to met out justice and make better decisions than the SC does..the court is a POLItical joke just like our Government ..